The Indian economy loses 73 million working days a year due to waterborne diseases, caused by a combination of lack of clean water and inadequate sanitation. Even large cities are only able to guarantee very little water for a few hours a day, says Dr Sridhar Vedachalam, a postdoctoral associate at the New York State Water Resources Institute at Cornell University, USA. Ranked among the 10 finalists of the 2012 Global Water Forum Emerging Scholars Award, the article discusses the gap between water supply and sanitation
Recently alarming reports have been released by Government agencies about groundwater contamination due to dumping of industrial water, untreated sewage in fresh water bodies and excessive use of fertilizers. Water scarcity is a looming problem for both urban and rural areas and the situation is being seen as a crisis. Use of contaminated water is also leading to numerous health problems across the country. The scarcity of water is driving the demand for use of water treatment technologies and products.
Ecolab Inc., an $11 billion company based in Minnesota, has global businesses spread across a number of key verticals, including Institutional, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Pest Management, Water Services and Energy Services. In India, Ecolab is catering to a customer base which includes 4-star, 5-star and 5-star deluxe properties falling under the Institutional business banner. Global companies in the beverage, brewery, dairy, processed food and consumer care segments are served by the company’s Food & Beverage business.
It’s an interesting time to appraise the “blue segment” of green business. Water has taken a back seat in sustainable business and cleantech. Over the past decade, the rallying cry of “water is the new oil” (or even the new carbon) has not materialised. Yet with mounting water scarcity and water quality pressures, the convergence of water and energy issues and the drive for greater resource efficiency, the market is clearly gaining momentum. Between 2005-2010 the Dow Jones Water Index surged 80% and between 2007-2010, it outperformed the S&P by over 20%. There are already a large number of countries, industries and companies whose economics are critically reliant on water. And that number is going to increase exponentially in the next five years. Here’s why: